Disney Searches for New ESPN Head After John Skipper’s Abrupt Exit

Skipper is resigning as a result of what he described as a long-term problem with substance addiction.

John Skipper
John Skipper, president of ESPN Inc., attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

John Skipper’s announcement that he was resigning as head of ESPN on Monday set off a search by Disney to find a new leader for the struggling sports programer. There are currently plenty of in-house senior executives who could take over, including  Connor Schell, executive VP of content, and Justin Connolly, executive VP of affiliate sales and marketing. Schell oversaw ESPN’s film division and then was put in charge of all programming in June. He oversaw O.J.: Made in America, which was ESPN’s first Academy Award. Connolly’s worked with ESPN since 2003 and is the go-to guy for all pay-TV and digital platforms. Outsiders might be considered as well, such as Michael Paull, who is the chief executive of BAMTech Media and was previously VP of digital video at Amazon.

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